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Remote Installation Services for Plug and Play capability

Remote Installation Services lets Windows administrators deploy an OS throughout the enterprise without physically visiting each client computer.

IT departments often spend a great deal of time deploying the latest version of the operating system throughout the organization. Often this process requires admins to physically visit each computer.


Windows 2000 comes with a service called Remote Installation Service (RIS) which supports both automated and customized versions of Windows 2000 and XP. With RIS you can plug a new computer into the network, start the computer, authenticate it and the operating system will be installed and configured for the user within a short span of time.

RIS is customizable and flexible. Users can modify the Client Installation Wizard to prompt for information, pass information to setup answer files, and populate environment variables with information

The following resources are required for RIS:

  1. A PXE-compliant (Pre-Boot Execution Environment) network card and system BIOS that supports setting the LAN as a bootup device.
  2. Windows 2000 server that is a member of an Active Directory-enabled domain.
  3. TCP/IP, the basic networking protocol required for a Windows 2000 network.
  4. A Windows 2000-compliant DNS server, so that an RIS server can locate an Active Directory controller, and a DHCP server to assign TCP/IP addresses to clients, allowing them to communicate with an RIS server.

The following hardware components need to be considered:

  • Storage space for each operating system image you want to deploy.
  • Allocation of additional memory for the RIS service, a minimum of 128 MB
  • A network adapter running at 100 Mbps full duplex is best.

The following services should be running because RIS relies on them for proper functioning:

  • Boot Information Negotiation Layer (BINL)
  • Trivial File Transfer Protocol Daemon (TFTPD)
  • Single Instance Store (SIS)

After installing RIS, click on the Start button in Windows and then Select the Run option, which opens up the Run dialog box. Type RISETUP.EXE to start the Remote Installation Service Setup Wizard. Follow the instructions on the screen to configure RIS. For the final step of the wizard, create an image of your Windows 2000 Server/Professional or Windows XP Professional from the CD. Once you're finished setting up RIS, you can customize it to fit your needs.

About the author:Rahul Shah currently works at a software firm in India, where he is a systems administrator maintaining Windows servers. He has also worked for various software firms in testing and analytics, and also has experience deploying client/server applications in different Windows configurations.

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